back to article Lunar rocks brought to Earth by China's Chang'e 5 show Moon's volcanoes were recently* active

The Moon remained volcanically active much later than previously thought, judging from fragments of rocks dating back two billion years that were collected by China's Chang’e 5 spacecraft. The Middle Kingdom's space agency obtained about 1.72 kilograms (3.8 pounds) of lunar material from its probe that returned to Earth from …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Alien

    There is obviously only one explanation:

    ooh--->

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: There is obviously only one explanation:

      To be fair we have a *very* small sample size (both in terms of mass and in terms of locations on the lunar surface).

      Many of those sample locations were chosen to be easy landing sites as well...

      We did have one gap, now we have two gaps of just under a billion years each...

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: There is obviously only one explanation:

        Each time samples come back from the moon they suggest that the theoretical impact on the Earth by the mystery planet Theia may have resulted in the moon's creation in the early Solar System days.

        1. ravenviz Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: There is obviously only one explanation:

          That's only a Theiary!

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: There is obviously only one explanation:

            backed up by very "spotty" data

  2. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

    Gosh, it sure would've been good to have read about this moon stuff anytime earlier within the last 50yrs of human history. Can you imagine being us so compelled by lunar history instead of the Cold War?

    Oh, well... Autopilot and having shiny mylar all over chips and candy is totally worth it.

  3. wrinkler

    As an aside, how much mass would need to be removed from the moon to start having an impact on the tides and seasons on earth?

    That might be what the next 500 trips are for, eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FTFY

      As an aside, how much would climate change caused by continual trips to the moon to start having an impact on the tides and seasons on earth?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FTFY

        And if we inject the moon with 5G-nanobot laced covid vaaccine, will the Man in the Moon's beard start growing backwards?

        1. Jim Mitchell
          Facepalm

          Re: FTFY

          Crikey, if you inject the moon with COVID vaccines the Earth will have to deal not just with gravitational tidal effects, but also magnetic tidal effects!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Coat

            Re: FTFY

            No worries. The man in the moon is clearly anti-vaccine. With a brain made of rock, he rejects new ideas, especially from science types who keep pestering him. If you give him a giant MAGA hat, he even resembles the Orange One in black and white.

    2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      There are two possibilities in your question. Mass removed form the Moon and transported to Earth, and mass removed form the Moon and sent into space (i.e. not returned to Earth).

      I suspect that mining the lunar surface will not have any noticeable effect on Earth's tides or seasons compared to current global warming caused by CO2 and CH4 emissions and the subsequent sea level rise. However, a Texas US congressman did ask their Forestries supremo to work out how to affect the Moon's orbit in order to alleviate high tides. (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/09/texas-republican-louie-gohmert-climate-change)

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Just realised

        I should really have pointed out that in actual fact there is much more mass transferred from Earth to the Moon than the other way. We have left several landers, Lunakhod, Chang'e, a multitude of Apollo landers including some lunar rovers and various orbiters which were crashed into the lunar surface or are still orbiting.

        The nett transfer of mass is from Earth to the Moon.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget to take into account the meteorites falling on both!

    4. Bartholomew Bronze badge
      Holmes

      > As an aside, how much mass would need to be removed from the moon to start having an impact on the tides and seasons on earth?

      You do know that the moon is moving away from the Earth at a rate of about 3.78 cm per year. That would have a far greater impact on tides than bringing back a few kg of rocks.

      As for seasons, the moon does not really have any effect on how seasons work, that is mostly due to earths axial tilt of about 23.44°. When the earth is closest to the sun it is winter time in the northern hemisphere, and summer time in the southern hemisphere. And when the earth is furthest from the sun it is summer time in the northern hemisphere and winter time in the southern hemisphere. Try and spin your head around that for a few minutes! The moon does not really effect the tilt of earths axis.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Douglas! (Icon)

        The fabulously beautiful planet, Bethsellamin, is now so worried about the cumulative erosion caused by ten million visiting tourists a year, that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete whilst on the planet, is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave.

        So every time you go to the lavatory there, it’s vitally important to get a receipt.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "the moon does not really have any effect on how seasons work"

        Apart from help keeping earth's axial tilt within reasonable bounds and stopping those seasons going to wild extremes like say, Uranus

  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    Chinese take away

    I’ll bet the samples were cold when they arrived.

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